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Antony Morland; Organization of primary visual maps in patients with retinal lesions. Journal of Vision 2011;11(15):73. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/11.15.73.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The primary visual cortex (V1) represents information retinotopically. Age-related changes in the retina can frequently give rise to visual field defects. In age-related macular degeneration (AMD) field defects are, at least at first, restricted to central regions of the visual field. What happens to areas of V1 that originally represented the centre of the visual field? One possibility is that these regions take on responses to more peripheral retina. This effect has been demonstrated in patients with congenital lesions of the central retina. If the effect were to occur in patients with AMD it may ameliorate visual loss. We examined whether peripheral information was remapped to areas of V1 that normally represent the centre of the visual field in 16 MD patients using fMRI retinotopic mapping procedures. We found no evidence of remapping in V1. It appears likely, therefore, that remapping of V1 is limited and perhaps only possible when lesions of the retina occur very early in life. However, it is reassuring that V1 does not undergo widespread remapping as it would have to be undone to maximize the benefits of treatments that aim to restore retinal sensitivity in MD patients.
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